Empathy- It’s fundamental, or is it?

ski fall

Mankind is noted for having three differing types of empathy: cognitive, emotional and compassionate. But there are significant problems that take place when a person has too much or too little of any specific kind.

Best selling author, Dr. Daniel Goleman, Emotional Intelligence and Social Intelligence: The New Science of Human Relationships points out the downfalls in his informative post, Three Kinds of Empathy.

Cognitive Empathy- Sensing what’s going on with the people around us

Cognitive empathy enables us to perceive what’s going on with the next person. But just because you know what they are experiencing, and what motivates them, does not mean you’ll exhibit caring or be able to put yourself in their shoes. In fact, it may do just the opposite.

Strong cognitive empathy is the tool that torturers rely on to shake a prisoner down for information. They can detach completely from any sense of pathos toward their victim. People who have high levels of cognitive empathy make great politicians and sales people. When cognitive empathy is accompanied by emotional empathy, it’s a good thing.

Sociopaths that conduct emotional harm are intuitive about the needs and wants of their target. They’ll use cognitive clues to position themselves for acceptance, just like a chameleon changes colors. The problem is, they lack the emotional empathy that reigns-in their self-interest. Most people who recover from relationships with sociopaths think back on them as “reptilians” for good reason. There is a distinct cold-bloodiness in the way they operate.

Brooklyn BridgeHaving cognitive empathy and no conscience enables swindlers to come up with asset grabs. Bernie Madoff pops to mind as a good example. We often think of con artists as people who try to sell the Brooklyn Bridge to an unsuspecting victim.

Emotional Empathy- The knee-jerk reaction to the perils that others experience

Emotional empathy enables us to embrace the feelings of others as if we were sharing their experience. When your heart pops into your mouth as someone falls off their chair, you are experiencing emotional empathy. People with appropriate levels of emotional empathy go through life thinking that everyone has it…. until they crash headfirst into the path of someone who does not. Their efforts to try to convey their experience to others is often met with disbelief, which makes the victim feel even more violated and isolated.

A person with high levels of emotional empathy could be hamstrung from benefiting the person with a problem because they may get too emotional to react in a positive way. That’s where compassionate empathy kicks in.

Compassionate Empathy- How we make a difference in the lives of others

Through compassionate empathy, we can use our emotional empathy to produce a meaningful result. A person with a well balanced level of compassionate empathy would come to the aid of the individual who fell, calling 911 if needed, or problem solving to determine what the situation warrants. People with compassionate empathy will appear outwardly cool in a pinch, even while feeling significant concern for the person who’s in danger. While they might fall apart after the crisis ends, they remain sufficiently detached to provide help when it’s needed.

The risk of compassionate empathy in dating

Having compassionate empathy puts people at risk for becoming victims, particularly in internet dating scams. The actor grooms their target with an overabundance of loving gestures to fuel their sense of belonging and build trust. The offender will jiggle the hook with a small bait-like request for a token “favor.” They may even provide reciprocal favors in return, grooming the victim further.

Ultimately, when they believe the victim is sufficiently snagged, they’ll spring a mega-request, and it’s usually about money, sex, or immigration related. It’s often couched in language that makes the request seem like an emergency. Targets that fail to produce the desired result get hit with a scathing attack aimed at crushing their self esteem. They are often too embarrassed and devastated to immediately seek help. They are stunned by the cessation of love they had counted on. Before they regain their equilibrium, the predator is long gone. and probably bad mouthing them to their next victim.

How empathy factors in our relationships

Emotional empathy is absolutely necessary in sustaining a loving relationship. Without it, a person is only capable of engaging with others on a “What’s in it for me?” basis. While they may pretend to be caring, because they know it’s socially acceptable to do so, their self-centered way of looking at the universe will ultimately surface. There will be no “agreeing to disagree” in order to make peace, a negotiation skill that is vital in order to sustain a relationship when acrimony occurs, as it does in any human interaction.

A mate with no emotional empathy cannot and will not put themselves in your shoes. They simply lack the ability to do so. And without this ability, they cannot develop a conscience. The only limits to their behavior stem from fear of being “outed,” and fear of loss or consequences.

No amount of bargaining, acquiescing, pleading, explaining, or cajoling will change their mindset. It is the way they are wired. Once a person advances past the life stage in which their moral code of conduct forms, they are who they are, and YOU will not change them.

How do you know if you’re dating a sociopath?

Someone who lies to you, in order to seduce you, has little or no emotional empathy. They do not put themselves in your shoes. They see you as a prize, an entitlement, a piece of property, but not as the living, breathing, caring human being that you are. If they were dishonest in their on-line dating description, or other information they initially fed you, they have no conscience. They are self indulgent.

The derisive manipulation of a person without emotional empathy will undermine your well-being. Even if the relationship remains intact, the victim’s self esteem will be shredded. So if you are experiencing loss of worth or other abuse, get help, today!

If you are with someone who displays a lack of emotional empathy toward others, it’s a sign of their real, underlying nature.

But, isn’t there a cure? Doesn’t everyone deserve a second chance? I felt so loved!

Sociopaths are people who lack emotional empathy. That is how their brain works. They are not sick. They are disordered. They know the difference between right and wrong. They just don’t care. They will not get better, but the longer you endure their behavior, the worse your situation will become.

They played with your brain chemistry to hook you. Find someone who loves you for you, not for your assets or other services you provide for them. Get out before giving birth to their child or financial complications get in the way.

A lucky example of collective compassionate empathy! 

ski fal fallingAll of you with emotional empathy will be happy to know that the group of onlookers in the title photo rushed to the aid of the little boy who dangled from his fathers hands. He plunged 25 feet into their waiting arms, and skied the rest of the day. Thanks to Matt Roeser who had his camera at the ready to snap this awesome testament to compassionate empathy at Hidden Valley in Wisconsin.

 

Gold-Diggers

Gold-Digger

Women can be just as CADdish as Men!

Today, I received a CAD Identity post from Canada, from a man who had been defrauded there. It brought home to me, that although we generally see the larger share of romantic frauds, for sex and financial gain, by men against women, there is an extraordinary amount of unscrupulous women who defraud men.

The term we generally ascribe to this phenomenon is Gold-Digger! Their stories abound! If you have one, please post it here! As always, you can, and should change the names of all the participants, including yourself.

The problem of rape by fraud and emotional rape is global. Don’t hesitate to alert us to the country or jurisdiction where this happened to you!

I’m starting with the story of how a Gold-Digger impacted my life...

Young and pretty, she came from the Bronx and was fortunate to find a great job with one of the most prolific music publishers in the world. She was awed by his wealth and connections to the abundant talent in the music business. He was 30 years her senior, a father figure to her.

Narcissists don’t need significant emotional connections. The closeness of loving bonds are not what draws them. Instead, they’re driven by financial gain, fame, stature. He had it all.

When he died, she inherited the businesses he’d built. She needed a boy-toy to accompany her to balls, banquets, fund raisers and events; eye-candy who looked good in a suit, knew what wines to pick, spoke several languages…. someone who could dance and charm her friends. She chose my husband.

We were still married at the time although he had disappeared. There was no internet that helped you locate people back then. He’d left my son and me behind, unsupported. Finding him would have eaten into the money I earned to feed, clothe and raise my child.

We lived in subsidized housing, and I juggled multiple jobs at the same time, in order to provide. There are only 24 hours in a day, and the amount of time I needed to devote to making a living diminished the time I could spend nurturing him. Our relationship still suffers the impacts of that loss today. Meanwhile, my estranged husband enjoyed the largess of one of the wealthiest women on the planet. He worked in her office and lived in her duplex apartment on Fifth Avenue, just a few short blocks from our home. We traveled in far different social circles. Our paths never crossed.

She enabled him to deprive his child and eroded my finances. When I was finally able to drag his CADdish rear end into court, my son was 17 and about to go to college. I needed to recoup whatever I could in order to send him. My attorney tried to secure tax returns and income statements. He stonewalled. His income was untraceable. He had lived off the grid in her generosity.  He claimed he had no job and was homeless, sleeping on his parent’s couch in Florida. I couldn’t afford a forensic accountant or private detective without putting my child’s education at risk. I had no idea what I would find, and no amount of wild imagining could have conjured up the truth!

The amount of money it would have taken to provide adequately for his family was a pittance to them. She simply didn’t give a damn. Gold-Diggers have no heart. When I learned what had actually transpired, I wrote to her. She never responded and they neither attempted to make amends nor repair the cavernous hole that his duplicity created in my finances.

There is so much more to this story, that lead me to create this blog and my efforts to enlighten society about the crime of rape by fraud. It’s said that God doesn’t give you anything you can’t handle. I was blessed with the spirit and strength to live through the pain, and the will to help enlighten and change society. I thank God for the friends who helped me through!

I’ve learned that there are different kinds of wealth in life. While they have money, I have a richness of fulfillment that they will never experience. Character disordered people are incapable of love. I am truly blessed!

Create A New Tradition of Joy!

Xmas Puppy

Many of us who suffered through emotional abuse feel our sorrow more intensely during the holiday season. As we see families come together in love and support, we’re reminded of the happiness we lost.

But did we really lose it? Or did we simply lose the image of what we’d hoped for, that was never to be? Often, holidays with emotional predators were as painful, and perhaps more so, than any other day. Continue reading Create A New Tradition of Joy!

Distinguishing Between Rape by Fraud vs Emotional Rape

There seems to be a very large misconception about what rape by fraud is, and what emotional rape is. And often they take place together. When this occurs, it’s hard for the victim to separate which is which.

Rape by Fraud image

Emotional Rape:

Tricking a person to steal their love

and involve them in a relationship.

Rape by Fraud:

Tricking a person to steal sex

How emotional rape works

Being pranked for a relationship is emotional rape. The term does not denote a “sexual act” Rather, it describes the sense of having your highest emotion, which is love, stolen from you.

In emotional rape, a person creates a hoax about their character, or what their intentions are, and perpetuates that hoax over time. The unknowing victim provides love and caring that is undeserved and will feel violated when they learn the truth. Cases of emotional rape can lead to engagement and marriage with a partner who is not what they pretend to be.

When the victim discovers the truth, they may not react as society expects. People with high levels of morality and the brain chemistry that induces attachments will continue to feel bound by the bond of love that was established. They’ll experience the toxic glue of a Trauma Bond, also known as a Betrayal Bond, that keeps them feeling the chemical ties created by the neurotransmitters in their brain, enabling our species to “couple.” Please use this link to determine if a Betrayal Bond is affecting you. And refer to Dr. Patrick Carnes’ book, Betrayal Bond, Breaking Free of Exploitive Relationships for further information.

Separating from an emotional predator can take considerable time and toxic interaction in the relationship. Often victims will defend their mate even though society will see their behavior as misguided. People without a deep-rooted sense of bonding will have an easier time breaking off the relationship. They’ll react more immediately to the realization of their situation. Victims who were previously abused, or whose moral code of conduct creates a sense of unconditional love, will be more forgiving.

How rape by fraud works

Rape by fraud is an actual, physical act of rape. Sexual assault or sexual contact takes place when a person is engaged in an act of sexually penetration without their freely given, knowledgeable and informed agreement…. consent. Defrauding a person of the physical act of sex vitiates their “consent” for sex, and is therefore punishable in some states. Tennessee and Alabama have the most direct laws in dealing with offenders who defraud victims for acts of sexual penetration.

Model penal code states that “consent is INEFFECTIVE if induced by force, duress or deception.” Therefore, a person who is sexually penetrated as a result of deception, is being physically raped.

This form of rape is similar in trauma to being drugged or intoxicated to vitiate consent. Violence did not occur to overwhelm the victim in any of these forms of sexual assault. Instead the victim was outwitted.

Other forms of criminal “outwitting.”

car theftIf an offender beat a man as he approached his car, took his keys and drove away, we’d readily recognize his actions as auto theft.

If the offender pretended to be the valet in front of a restaurant, took the man’s keys and drove off with his car, we would also recognize the act as auto theft; even though the man willingly handed over his keys and didn’t realize he was being robbed in the moment.

The first act was theft accomplished by violence. The second was theft accomplished by fraud. The offender would be charged differently for the violent act and sentenced more harshly, but both are criminal offenses.

Distinctions in charging the offender with a rape crime

All forms of rape should be punished in every state. If the person were violently overwhelmed, their act of rape would warrant a more “aggravated” level of charge. The sexual assaults that do not involve violence to overwhelm the victim are a lesser offense. But all acts of rape, or sexual assault, should be punished.

Is emotional rape a crime?

Emotional rape is morally reprehensible. It steals a lifetime from the victim. It embroils them in marriages that are not what the victim perceives. When it generates offspring, those relationships exist for a lifetime, and often in a fashion that shatters lives. But is it a criminally punishable offense? Unfortunately, it is not penalized  in any state in the US. It could; however, become a civil matter if there were sufficient awareness of this pattern of wrong doing.

You will get a much clearer grasp of the distinction between emotional rape and rape by fraud by reading Carnal Abuse by Deceit, which accurately conveys these issues in a real-world setting.

Every act of physically and sexually penetrating a person without their freely given, knowledgeable and informed agreement, #FGKIA, is and should be punishable throughout the US!

Fight, Flight, or “Freeze” Tonic Immobility

A victim’s reaction to trauma

sad woman-2

You awake to a very large, strong man covering your mouth with one hand, making it difficult to breathe, let alone scream. In the other hand, he’s clenching a knife millimeters from your face. Terror seizes your entire body and you react…. but how?

Fight or flight is the response society expects in violent attacks. Your hypothalamus and pituitary take over, instantly flooding you with hormones to protect your sustainability.

  • Adrenalin arouses you to your circumstance.
  • Cortisol provides you with uncommon energy.
  • Opiods act like morphine to temporarily blind you to your pain.
  • Oxytocin attempts to stabilize your emotions.

Totally apart from your conscious control, you may be like millions of other sexual assault survivors who freeze.

It is estimated that 12 to 50% of rape victims will respond by freezing, and it is thought that the number is closer to 50% than 12%. Also, victims who experienced prior sexual trauma are more likely to experience this temporary paralysis.

The impacts on seeking justice

Policing is currently practiced under the misconception that victims will either fight with all their might to fend off brutality, or do everything in their power to free themselves. Absent evidence of doing either or both, they assume that the victim’s crime report is a lie. Approximately 86% of rapes, even those supported by a rape kit, do not make their way from the Patrolman to the Prosecutor for this reason. Yet data reported by the National Center for the Prosecution of Violence Against Women indicates only 2-8% of rape accusations are false.

A natural phenomenon

frog

Freezing, Tonic Immobility, also known as thanatosis, is an automatic response to rape as well as other forms of trauma in humans. But we are not the only animal that experiences this phenomenon.Opossum The most widely
known is the
opossum,which is why “playing dead” is also referred to as “playing opossum.” Mammals are wired with the option to look and appear dead to their attacker for protection. In sharks, rolling onto their back and becoming paralyzed enables mating.

Other impacts on the victim’s post-rape “affect”

During rape, the cocktail of hormones surging through the human body block the ability of the brain’s hippocampus to organize and store thought. Many rape victims, who are interrogated shortly after their trauma, have yet to recover cognition. Police, who don’t understand their behavior, suspect that the victim is inventing the story as they speak, when they are actually attempting to puzzle together disparate pieces that were blocked from encoding by their brain’s hormonal overload.

Their ‘affect” or appearance, may not seem emotionally charged as one would expect after a heinous assault. They could remain under the influence of those same opiods that deterred their reaction and dulled their senses during the crime.

Undermining self esteem

Victims who freeze struggle with an innate sense of guilt. Their response defied their own personal expectation that if something bad happened to them, they would fight to the death or flee. We go through life taking comfort in the concept that we are able to protect our mortality, and we respond to rape as a struggle for life. Most of society sees fight or flight as being brave, because we don’t understand that freezing is the same act of self-preservation. People who experience the trauma of rape by fraud are also plagued with similar self-blame.

How tonic immobility factors in rape by fraud

I recall vomiting and collapsing on the cold bathroom floor, immobile, when I first learned the initial lie that was used to defraud me into a sexual relationship. Little did I know, there were far more lies behind it.

Defrauding someone of sex strips them of both fight and flight to defend their body. The victim could not react, because they did not know. Their behavior, throughout the time they were assaulted, which could span years, uproots their personal sense of being able to protect themselves. The recognition that a sexual assault by fraud took place can be a paralyzing trauma.

The victim’s failure to protect their personal sexual sanctity also obscures society’s recognition that a crime took place against them. And it undermines the victim’s self-esteem in much the same way having been immobilized does in violent cases. The victim suffers secondary victimization from society, family, friends, the authorities and themselves when dealing with rape by fraud. It’s little wonder that knowing you were deceived into sex is so terribly degrading for a victim, and why it is so difficult to heal.

Media should be paying far closer attention to Tonic Immobility, just as it should be identifying the heinous nature of rape by fraud and its impacts on victims.

Watch this TEDx Talk for the key to combating sexual assault!

Authors note:

Inspiration for this post came from information I received from a woman who comments under the name “Semi” on US Weekly. Unless otherwise linked, the source for the data and statistics is The Neurobiology of Sexual Assault, written and presented by Dr. Rebecca Campbell, Professor of Psychology at Michigan State University. I wholeheartedly encourage everyone to watch her scholarly presentation. 

 

PTSD- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder & Rape by Fraud

Why victims suffer this disabling anxiety condition

Army

PTSD is normally associated with warfare

My father fought in the Philippines during World War II. One hot, dark, buggy night, he woke up to find a Japanese soldier squatting over him, about to thrust a bayonet into his neck.  I knew better than to ever ask him the fate of that soldier. The fact that he came home to our family was all we needed to know.

Whenever my dad was aroused from sleep, he’d awaken with a start. I’m sure that was only a small example of how PTSD affected him. But it was visible to me, even as a small child.Today, society readily understands that combat soldiers can suffer from PTSD. It was a far less public discussion in my father’s time.

I never expected that I would encounter any type of danger that could create the disorder for me, but I was wrong.

The emotional causes of PTSD

Modern day health professionals have concluded that emotionally shattering experiences undermine our sense of invulnerability and cause PTSD. People naturally assume that life is both benevolent and meaningful. And we consider ourselves to be worthy beings. An encounter with rape by fraud can shred every vestige of our beliefs about both life and our place in it. It undermines our value system.

If this happened to you, depending on the length of time the hoax took place, you built expectations that were predictable. Learning that everything you valued was nothing more than a house of cards crushed your sense of safety and well-being. And the notion that you were used as an instrument of your own demise was especially crushing. It is why Socrates said that “sex by persuasion” as he called rape by fraud, is particularly compelling because it undermines the character of the victim. Recognition of the heinous nature of this behavior spans centuries. It’s nothing new.

While rape by fraud victims do not undergo the brutal torment of violence, the blow to their emotional makeup can be devastating. Their injuries are far more severe than the trifling stupidities that people hurl their way…. “Just get over it,” “So what,”  “Find a decent guy.” And even worse, “You just misunderstood.” In many ways, the lack of validation people hurl at victims serves to deepen their despair. They not only have to deal with the betrayal that affects them at their core, but also with the abandoning mindset of the very people they count on for support.

Some symptoms of PTSD include:

  • Memories that are triggered by daily events, making you tremendously sad.
  • Sleeplessness, the inability to turn off the record running through your brain
  • Loss of interest in your daily life.
  • Hermit behavior, unwillingness to go out and face possible reminders
  • Irritability and anger over small incidents.

Victims who experience rape by fraud should seek professional help to recover. Just as a soldier needs therapy to improve, no one should try to tackle PTSD on their own. If you can’t afford a private therapist, contact your local hospital and find out if they have a low cost mental health clinic that can help you. Reach out to RAINN, the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network, for information and support.

Rumination- the broken record of our emotions

Broken Record

I remember all too clearly what it felt like to hear a vinyl record skip on my old stereo. I’d play it loud so I could listen to music throughout the house. If I were in another room, repetition over the distance increased my discomfort. I’d dash back and dive at the needle to stop the offending sound.

Prisoners at Guantanamo Bay are tortured with repeated loud music. It’s intended to derail their thought processes and break them emotionally.

So why do victims of relationship abuse do the emotional equivalent of compulsively replaying bad music in their brain? The simply answer is grief.

Regurgitating, negative, non-productive thought

Rumination will plague us during the “bargaining” stage of grief recovery. And everyone who loses a relationship needs to grieve that loss as surely as one needs to mourn the death of a loved one.

In bargaining, we tend to ask ourselves what we could or should have done to produce a different outcome. In reality, when we’ve been embroiled in a relationship hoax, nothing, other than not getting involved in the first place could have kept the bond from collapsing. Engaging with a liar builds a house of cards. Discovering that nothing you valued was real, is a devastating loss.

Typically, women ruminate over sadness, while men are more inclined to do so when angry. But both can get stuck in a wallowing cycle that puts off supporters and isolates us in our pain. Family members and friends often don’t relate to the impact of our emotional loss, as they would if someone close to us died. But the grief and mourning we experience is very similar.

depression-small

Why relieve yourself of rumination?

It robs you of problem solving and creates a vicious cycle of depression. While you perseverate to make sense of things, you dwell on the unsolvable issues….. how you got there, what you could have done differently. Instead, you need to focus on how you will reclaim your life.

We are more likely to ruminate over unfinished business….. the circumstances that occur in our lives without closure. We want validation. We need to accept that it will not come in a relationship with a predator, and move on.  Our memory rehearsals keep us connected to the source of our pain, when we truly need to let go.

How to get past rumination

In The Truth About Grief, Ruth Davis Konigsburg tells us, “Loss is forever, but acute grief is not.” If someone close to you died, you’d be encouraged to get exercise. Your friends would try to distract you by engaging you in activities you enjoy. You need to be your best friend and provide yourself with that same encouragement.

Here are some recommendations that can help you get past rumination:

  1. Don’t be bullied to change the way you feel. Allow yourself to feel your loss, the anger the disappointment. Everyone grieves at different speeds. There is no right or wrong way.
  2. Get exercise. You need to pump up your endorphins so you have a deeper emotional well to draw from.
  3. Distract yourself with activities that get you away from your constant memories. Begin to make new, positive memories for yourself.
  4. Box it up. Write your story so you can put it on the shelf. Doing so will enable you to let go of the need to hang onto it in your mind.
  5. Volunteer for an effort that makes you feel good about yourself. There is nothing more gratifying than to help someone in need. Doing so will give you a strong sense of self-reliance and can aid you in seeing that no one goes through life without a struggle, including you. It will enable you to create better perspective about your painful condition.
  6. Join a grief support group or engage in counseling. Mourning a loss is difficult. Seeking help can get you past the thoughts that keep you stuck.

The loss of a loved one throws us for a loop, whether the person deserved our caring or not. People who experience sexual misconduct and relationship abuse, resulting from being embroiled in a hoax, are no less in need of grieving than anyone else. Rumination can be a debilitating part of that process but you can heal and bring joy back into your life.

Absurd Hoopla Over #3908- NJ’s Sexual Assault by Fraud Law

 

Assembly Member Troy Singleton, Introducer of #3908, Sexual Assault by Fraud, in NJ Assembly
Assembly Member Troy Singleton who Introduced #3908, Sexual Assault by Fraud, in NJ Assembly

The fervor over this law is just plain ridiculous!

I have responded to many posts I’ve seen and wanted to share a recent one with you that appears in reaction to Joan Quigley’s article this morning in NJ.com.

Joan Quigley got it right! 

I am the author of “Carnal Abuse by Deceit.” Before you tune me out for shameless promotion, please understand that my book is about rape by fraud. It is the story of what happened to me, and makes it understandable why this is a crime. I came to the aid of the victim in NJ on her issues against Will Jordan.

But do I support a law that makes every person who tells a fib or wears perfume a rapist? Absolutely not! And my take on equating “rape by fraud” with “rape by violence” is that it grossly over reaches!

Here is what I suggested and why….

  1. The It’sOnUS pledge clearly states “Non-Consensual Sex is Sexual Assault.” It is endorsed by President Obama.
  2. Model Penal Code clearly states, in its Global Consent provision….. “Consent is INEFFECTIVE if induced by force, duress or DECEPTION.”
  3. In every type of punishable crime of fraud, the victim gave consent, but it was ineffective consent. The perpetrator knew the consent was ineffective, even though the victim did not at the time of the action.

A law on Sexual Assault by Fraud should be created to connect the dots between these three very important and legally understood premises. No one should be violated by deception in order to get into their pants! And this includes women as well as men!

When a person lies to you in order to VITIATE your KNOWING CONSENT, they are violating you, not seducing you.

So what do we call this crime? 

Yes, genetically, rape by fraud is a sexual violation which is “rape.” But let’s not throw the baby out with the bath water over semantics. It does not rise to the horrific nature of the crime of violence, to overwhelm and penetrate someone’s genitalia, that most people think of as “rape.” That’s why laws have distinctions such as “aggravated” and “degrees” of severity. I offered language to the Assemblyman to include in the legislation that would make that concept absolutely clear. Leaving it out was a huge mistake.

There are many ways a person’s knowing consent can be violated: They can be physically overwhelmed through violence, by intoxication, by dope, by deceit, by coercion, by being underage or too mentally challenged to provide such consent. Every way to deprive a person of self determination over their intimate core is a physical invasion of their body, a sexual assault.

Non-violent sexual assault should not be punished to the extent that violent sexual assault should be, but it surely should be punished!

It was and is my recommendation that non-consensual sexual assault, of this nature, be considered “sexual misconduct” rather than “sexual assault.” It should apply in cases where the offender has either conducted fraud in the factum or fraud in the inducement… legal terms you will find in my book. Again, please pardon the shameless self-promotion but I wrote it for a reason…. to help people understand this crime and why it’s a crime.

On enhancements and fibs

Rape by fraud as “sexual misconduct”, in the mainstream of its use, would not punish people for appearance enhancements. People have eyes. They see the other person’s appearance. It is either pleasing to them or not. The Spanx come off before penetration! As will the padded bra or pants that are stuffed with a tennis ball. So let’s not be ridiculous about it.

It is obvious to the observer when someone wears perfume. My favorite is Boucharon. No one in their right mind would ever think that’s what I smelled like without applying it.

This crime revolves around “false personation.” 

There are lies of intent as well as lies of identity used in “sexual misconduct” scenarios. When a person pretends to be someone other than who they actually are, the term “false personation” applies. (See FL criminal code on fraud.)

A lie of intent, “I’ll marry you in the morning,” could not be punished. The perpetrator could simply say, “I changed my mind.”

The burden of proof on any prosecution is the District Attorney’s. They cannot indict without the Grand Jury and the jury being on board. So while little white lies are CADdish behavior, (Carnal Abuse by Deceit,)  they are not the stuff of prosecution.

Cases of “false personation,” identity characteristics that transform a person from their actual identity into someone else, is the level of crime that is prosecutorial. The victim has sex with a stranger, not the person they intended. It is defiling. It happened to me for 3.5 years. It literally changed my life.

Determination of penalty

Also, keep in mind, mental health professionals will tell you that the longer the hoax persists, the more damage the victim sustains. Instead of being defiled once, they were defiled multiple times. It is devastating to know that someone you trusted treated you this way, and that they manipulated your cooperation in what they did to you. The length of the offense can be another issue in ascribing the penalty for this crime.

The press rushed to judgement that the penalty would be equivalent to violent rape, They were incorrect. Assemblyman Singleton was leaving the discussion of penalty to the law makers and process whose job is to figure it out.

Prosecution for defrauding to spread communicable disease

Here is a tremendous benefit this law will provide…. Predators who knowingly hide communicable illness can be prosecuted under this law. There will be no more free ride when they knowingly pass along HIV or any other life-altering disease.

This law is to protect against an insidious crime. It is not to incarcerate jerks. But jerks should be fully aware that when they behave like jerks, they are violating, not seducing you. Is it offensive? Absolutely! Is it punishable? Very unlikely! There is simply not sufficient proof to build a case under this or any law.

Detach from a Predator! Easier said than done!

hooked

 

This morning, I was happy to see Donna Anderson at LoveFraud pick up on a position that I’ve advocated for quite some time, and focused on in my book. And I did so because when people understand the chemical mechanics of romantic addiction, it makes it easier to cut the chord. 

How and why brain chemistry connects us

Mother nature provided us with brain chemistry to bond us to our lover. It enables us to create offspring and cohabit with the other parent in order to provide the nurture and protections needed for their development. Love, therefore, has to be a strong and binding glue because the children of homo sapiens are the slowest to develop on the entire planet. Oxytocin, a powerful neurotransmitter in the brain, that aids in trust, love and emotions, as well as other “love” chemicals, are what separates man from beasts.

Dr. Paul Zak describes the role of oxytocin  in his book, The Moral Molecule. And Scientific American refers to it as love glue.  Coupled together, with our brain’s additional chemistry, they serve us as both the bait and the hook. But when we enter a relationship with a character disordered person, instead of becoming fulfilled and loved, we become damaged and at risk. The chemicals we were provided fight with our conscious awareness to keep us embedded. They begin to function as a toxic glue.

And our code of morality, which evolves over many years, together with the influence of abundant experiences, also defines how we react in romantic situations. For many of us, we develop a code of commitment to a loved one, and we feel shame when we behave out of character with our own personal code, better known as values. A crafty emotional predator can use our own inherent value system to shame us into remaining.

Fear induced bonding

There is yet another strong chemically-related bond that forms in relationships where there is trauma. Misattribution Affect has been aptly described by Dr. Kristin McKinney.  When people experience heightened fear, their adrenaline starts pumping. Going through a traumatic event makes us bond with people with whom we share this circumstance. For instance, riding the roller coaster at the County Fair sparked many a relationship. If the couple wasn’t holding hands when they embarked, they were likely to be when the ride ended. As we go through the roller coaster of a relationship with an offender, even though they have caused us harm, we can feel more bonded with them.

A toxic relationship provides the pain of a constant hook. It is damaging to live with, and excruciating to walk away from.

People will often settle for the relative peace and apologetic behavior that occurs between episodes of abuse. Marriages can take place as a result of a predator’s temporary contriteness between times of turbulence. The victim can easily confuse the offer of marriage, even when made by the offender as an attempt to curtail exposure, as a sincere commitment to reform. And it is easy for a victim to be persuaded when they fall within a calm portion of the cycle of harm.

There is no way to turn, in or out of the relationship with a predator, that is not painful. Victims must surmount their fear of the pain and loss, that they associate with walking away, in order to take that necessary step.

Breaking away!

Because of the terrible pain we feel at the loss, only through consistent and repeated harm, or the discard of the offender, do morally committed people sever a romantic relationship. In cases like Reeva Steenkamp, it’s likely that she died at the hands of her lover, Oscar Pistorius, before she reached the point at which she could free herself from her emotional bond. Pistotius’s cruelty spiraled out of control prior to her reconciling the discrepancy between her “feelings” and the reality of her predicament.

The need for No Contact

Often, even once a victim pulls away, what they feel as a deep-rooted emotional appeal, can draw them back again. They go through a period of turmoil, ruminating about their circumstance, emotionally heaping blame on themselves for not being more of this or less of that. Their brain plays the “if only I had” game as if something they did made the psychopath an aggressor. They can fall into deep depression and need to grieve their loss like grieving over the death of someone close to them. While the offender did not die, their relationship with them died. Having no contact, guards against recycling the predator’s pull and helps assure separation.

When we drink alcohol, it makes our brain feel a certain way. Abstention makes us crave the way we felt to an even stronger degree. Abstaining from a toxic relationship can produce a similar result. Unless people know the chemistry behind their craving, they are susceptible to relapse, which takes the form of forgiving.

How to know we need to go….

Once we recognize that the person is devoid of emotional empathy, getting away from them is the only way to regain our life and equilibrium. Emotional empathy is the knee-jerk reaction we have to other people’s pain or circumstance. Without it, we can’t develop a conscience. A psychopath will not change. They are wired that way. And putting oneself back onto their pathway only puts us in harm’s way.

What happens if the relationship produced a child?

Unfortunately, victims who parent with miscreants will have a lifetime of toxic behaviors to deal with. Victims must do everything possible to build the oxytocin receptors in their children’s brains, early-on, because they are especially at-risk for developing without emotional empathy. They have a pre-disposition to a genetic flaw. Modern mental health professionals tell us that approximately 4% of the world’s population is comprised of psychopaths. Not everyone who is the child of a psychopath will become one. But they are seriously at-risk of doing so.  Dr. Liane Leedom constructs a pathway toward character development for children in her book, Just Like His Father. 

If you are experiencing raising a child with someone you suspect of psychopathy, minimizing your own personal interaction with the other parent should be done to the greatest extent possible. Be cognizant of the chemical pulls that could cause you to feel drawn back toward their appeal. Be sure to retain sight of the harm you were dealt and live in reality. While they can exude the charm that attracted you initially, they are toxic at their core. And when they recognize you are no longer fooled by them, they can and will try everything possible to undermine you, including alienating your children. Stay smart. Seek professional guidance.

New Jersey’s new Sexual Assault by Fraud Bill!

New Jersey- a step closer to makeing romance safer for all!
New Jersey- a step closer to making sexual relations safer for all!

 

I am sooo very pleased to announce that on November 13th, Assembly Members Troy Singleton, Gabriela Mosquera, and Pamela Lampitt introduced Legislation #3908 making it unlawful to defraud a victim of sex in the state of New Jersey!

This bill has a long way to go before passage. It will be be reviewed in committee and must be approved by both the Assembly and the state’s Senate. But it is a huge step forward in the effort to enlighten societal awareness about what actually constitutes sexual assault.

Proposed NJ Law #3908

Please note, the document appears sideways but you can rotate it clockwise in your viewer. 

 

Georgia- Land of Possibility!

Georgia

As a UGA Alum, I was particularly interested in checking on rape by fraud laws in the Peach State. And, although there’s no specific mention in their criminal code, Georgia has an interesting statute that should apply.

Back in 1962, Model Penal Code was drafted to standardize penal laws throughout the US. Its Global Consent provision states that:

Consent is ineffective if induced by force, duress, or deception.

Basically, this means that consent, obtained by deception, is not consent at all.

Georgia’s rape law clearly identifies the crime committed through the use of force or duress. And 16-6022.1, Sexual Battery, should apply in cases of deceit when the concept of “consent” is based on Model Penal Code’s Global Consent provision.

Georgia continues to outlaw fornication and adultery as criminal acts. So be careful, all you Hairy Dawgs!.  You can land in jail for having sex out of wedlock with either a single or married person.

“50 Brave Women” Campaign for change!

woman w flag

It’s not OK to exploit people for sex!

You can make a meaningful difference in the laws in your state! We need one person to step forward who’s been harmed by a romance scam in every jurisdiction.

Are you up for the challenge?

If so, please complete the simple form below, (which will not be published or seen on the blog,) with the following information:

  1. Write a short description of what happened to you, (please keep it under 5 paragraphs.)
  2. Send your contact information: name, phone, email, city and state (None of this information is made public.)
  3. Let me know if you’re acquainted with any of the legislators in your area, and if so, who.

 

William Allen Jordan Gets Jail Time!

William Allen Jordan is also Will Jordan and William Jordan, #WillJordan, #WilliamAllenJordan, #WilliamJordan
William Allen Jordan
Mischele and I on the steps of the courthouse in Burlington County NJ

This post initially appeared on November 14, 2014:

William Allen Jordan, who defrauded NJ resident Mischele Lewis of sex and money, took a plea deal, for 3 years behind bars, today! In addition, he’ll be required to pay $4,383 in restitution, and a $15,000 fine. He can have no contact with Lewis for the rest of his life. His sentence begins on February 6, 2015.

There’s a great deal more to the back story!

I was contacted to help Mischele because I’d authored a book about the romance scam that happened to me. Carnal Abuse by Deceit  was published 4 months prior to my learning about Mischele. I wrote it to raise awareness and help victims like her recover from Rape by Fraud or Deception. I was encouraged that, indeed, it was hitting its mark and I spent countless hours speaking with Mischele by phone, through emails, and in person in order to help her. Continue reading William Allen Jordan Gets Jail Time!

Hooray for Alabama!

OMG! When you cross the state line into Alabama, the sign should read, “Now Entering Alabama, The State of Enlightenment!”

Alabama
scores.espn.go.com

Alabama’s not just noteworthy for the successes of The Crimson Tide. The Code of Alabama punishes the unspecified use of fraud in sexual intercourse as “Sexual Misconduct,” a Class A Misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of $1,000 and/or up to two years in jail. The statute applies to both male and female offenders.

Here is the law:

Section 13A-6-65

Sexual misconduct.

(a) A person commits the crime of sexual misconduct if:

(1) Being a male, he engages in sexual intercourse with a female without her consent, under circumstances other than those covered by Sections 13A-6-61 and 13A-6-62; or with her consent where consent was obtained by the use of any fraud or artifice; or

(2) Being a female, she engages in sexual intercourse with a male without his consent; or

(3) He or she engages in deviate sexual intercourse with another person under circumstances other than those covered by Sections 13A-6-63 and 13A-6-64. Consent is no defense to a prosecution under this subdivision.

(b) Sexual misconduct is a Class A misdemeanor.

(Acts 1977, No. 607, p. 812, §2318.)

Don’t defraud someone of sex in Alabama! What more can I say other than thank you, Alabama!

 

 

 

 

 

The Kingdom of Hawaii and the US are still in conflict

And that conflict extends to rape by fraud law!

Marcelo Dapino, My Shot
Marcelo Dapino, My Shot

 

A little history….

Way back in 1889, the US, after several failed attempts, succeeded in unilaterally annexing the Hawaiian Islands. The coupe was motivated by a desire to obtain close, direct access to Guam and the Philippines during the Spanish American War.

But conflict over the independence of the Islands is ongoing. As recently as 2001, a complaint was filed with the United Nations Security Council demanding that Hawaii’s continuity as an independent state remain intact under international law. And judging by the disparity in laws over rape by fraud, I’d come down heavily on the side of an independent Hawaiian Kingdom!

The Hawaiian Kingdom Penal Code is pretty specific about protecting unmarried women against the crime of rape by fraud in Chapter XI-6:

Whoever, by conspiracy or by willful falsehood or deceit, seduces, causes or procures any unmarried female to commit fornication, shall be punished by a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars, or by imprisonment at hard labor not more than two years.

The only statute that comes close to penalizing rape by fraud in the Criminal Code of the State of Hawaii is 707-733, (c) Sexual Assault in the fourth degree:

The person knowingly trespasses on property for the purpose of subjecting another person to surreptitious surveillance for the sexual gratification of the actor.

The term “surreptitious” is defined in normal parlance as “stealthy, sly, and sneaky.” One would need to argue that these definitions accurately describe the actions of the offender. Although the penetration of the offender is not specifically punished, his (or her) intent to eye-ball (peep) the victim for sexual gratification is. Unless they claim their eyes were closed during the act of penetration, this statute would seem to apply. Still, enforcement would be limited to an intrusion into a victim’s home since it requires a “trespass.”

Hawaii’s statutes currently punish sexual acts of coercion and abuse of authority.

Special Dedication

Kimberly Raya’s son plays for a high school marching band that’s been given the honor of performing in the upcoming Pearl Harbor Day Memorial Parade in Hawaii. This post is dedicated to her efforts to raise funds so she can share this unique experience with him. KIm helps countless abuse victims recover their dignity on her blog, LetMeReach, and I hope you will lend support to her for this special event by clicking the “Special Dedication” link above.

When Gays Marry Straight Mates

Gay Marriage

Does lying about sexual preference constitute rape by fraud?

I was asked this question by a blog participant, and I believe its importance warrants a post of its own. Her question was framed in light of recent developments in penal code in New Jersey, but the answer is universal. So, here’s my response…..

Pertaining to New Jersey

First off, law in NJ has not been finalized, so it’s premature to give you a definitive answer for that specific state. Even once the statute is submitted to the Assembly, a significant amount of debate, and the submission of amendments, may alter its language.

But I’d like to answer your question from a broader perspective, that of whether pretending to be straight actually qualifies. generically, as sexual assault by fraud.

Character distortion and how it applies

There are basically two types of lies that offenders will use in fraud in the “inducement,” which is the sort of fraud where the actor pretends to be something or someone they are not. There are lies of “intent” and lies of “identity.” In the case you’re referring to, denying that someone is gay would seem to be a major character lie and, therefore, meet the definition of a lie of false identity.

Obstacles for this particular circumstance

But here’s where the line gets blurred….. All victims of lies of identity will feel defiled. And the longer the lie is perpetuated, the greater the harm they suffer. The victim is embroiled in a hoax. Unfortunately, however, when you speak of lies about a person’s sexual proclivity, there is a great deal of uncertainty as to whether the person deliberately lied to mislead you, or were they struggling through their own personal identification issues? In other words, were they lying to you, or lying to themselves? It’s only a deliberate lie if the answer is, unequivocally, they were fully aware and lying intentionally.

Another obstacle to hurdle is whether concealment is a form of lying. In some states it is. In others, it’s not.

I’m told that people who are gay know it from an early age. I’m no expert, however, and conceivably, this could differ from person to person. But certainly, if the actor knew he was gay, and intentionally pretended to be straight because attachment to you gave him “cover,” indeed, in my opinion, he would have been conducting sexual assault by fraud.

A person’s actual motivations are extremely difficult to prove in a courtroom. One would think that having had past homosexual liaisons would be a sure tip off. But we have so little concrete awareness of when and how people deem themselves to be homosexual, that I could see this type of case posing significant challenges in a courtroom.

But that should not deter the victim from coming to grips with the fact that they suffered rape by fraud. We don’t need a judge’s decision to know how we feel, but only to prosecute offenders. We would hope that offenders would be deterred by society’s penal codes, and that’s why we establish them. Also, we attempt to seek justice for the victims of crimes by enforcing those laws.

When did his actions cross the line?

If your husband had doubts when he married you, somewhere along the line, his doubts turned into conviction. And at that time, it was his responsibility to let you know. Every time he engaged in sexual contact with you under false pretenses, he was simply selfishly holding onto the perks in his life, that he valued, by denying you your inherent right to self determination over your personal sexual sanctity. And, by the way, this same principle would hold true in a relationship where the woman was gay and the man was straight.

Applying the concept of Emotional Rape

It is also my belief that you were emotionally raped. Emotional rape results when an offender steals your highest emotion, which is love, through deception. Even if he never laid a hand on you once he conceived of himself as gay, he selfishly fed the bond that kept you together by fabricating and perpetuating a hoax. In fact, part of his subterfuge was likely to have included undermining your feelings of attractiveness and desirability to cover up for his lack of sexual interest in you. Since emotional rape is not a physical act, it is unlikely you will ever see penal code to punish offenders. That should not deter victims, however, from feeling validation regarding their sense of defilement.

New Role for Elvis in Today’s Society!

A new, important role for elvis!
A new, important role for Elvis

Elvis, and the business interests that surrounded him, factored heavily in the book that is making a difference in society’s views, and laws, on sexual assault!- Carnal Abuse by Deceit.

In concert, (no pun intended), with the timing for the CMA awards, I’ve learned that November 13th is the target date for submitting a sexual assault by fraud bill in the NJ Assembly.

Please note: This is an unconfirmed but likely date. I will post again when the word becomes official.

Defining "consent" is the critical key to conquering sexual assault!

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